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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> senior portrait using real moon and stars as backg
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06/24/2011 10:54:01 AM · #1
any ideas how I can pull this off?

camera settings suggestions?

I have a picky senior and doesn't want a backdrop she wants the real moon and stars..
06/24/2011 11:11:08 AM · #2
No way she's going to be satisfied with that little white speck in the background. She'll have to be on the mountain ridge 500 meters from you, with the moon just cresting the horizon. Good luck. Or photoshop till you drop.
06/24/2011 11:11:46 AM · #3
The problem is the moon is so small and you really won't bet much of it unless you use a very long lens and stand far away from your subject. Then you will likely not see much in the way of stars just because the moon is so much brighter. You will also need to use lights on the senior and if you want everything in focus you will need a very high f stop which will require either a very long exposure or very high iso. I found this in the dpc archives to give you an idea of size and all that. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/613/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_450126.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/613/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_450126.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
06/24/2011 11:19:39 AM · #4
If it was me I would use settings best for the portrait then take separate shots of the moon and stars then combine the two photos. It can be done in the same photoshoot so she knows you are using real stars and moon. Just explain to her that it is really tough to get the correct exposure for both in one shot.

And yes get prepared use photoshop, both the moon and the stars will most likely have to be enhanced to make them look right.
06/24/2011 11:25:25 AM · #5
I agree with previous posters, you will need to combine several exposures. You can shoot the senior using flash, then shoot the starry sky using a long exposure and the same framing. If the moon is up and behind you, you will even get some nice illumination of the foreground scene.
Now you can combine the senior and the starry sky, all you need is the moon. You can either use a shot of the moon taken separately, or shoot it using a longer lens and insert it. Do be aware that the moon will look much larger than life size if shot with a longer lens and inserted. If you want a natural look, you will need to reduce it in post.
06/24/2011 11:41:15 AM · #6
just a thought on the exposure problem:
you can use long exposure with initial burst of flash, in my T1i I open the flash and set the camera on a long exposure, say 20secs, then the shutter opens for 20 seconds and the flash goes off just once at the beginning of the exposure. that way your subject get lit by the flash and stars will be captured in next 20 seconds. the thing is she will need to hold still after the flash burst. using an off-camera flash may help to have better light for your subject.
I've used this method to take pictures of my friends in star parties, mostly using stars and the band of milky way as the background... I'm not sure if it also works for senior shots.
not a precise way overall and you'll still have that problem with the size of the moon... but just a thought!
06/24/2011 10:19:50 PM · #7
thanks everyone....I was really thinking this would be impossible....
I found a really high hill....that I thought would put us closer...but still thought I'd not be able to get the exposure right.....

thanks for all your tips...I will be doing alot of practice shots and prep for photoshop!!
06/24/2011 11:20:10 PM · #8
It might help to ask if the client has a photo similar to what they would like to end up with that they can show you.
One other way to get that sort of exposure would be to do double exposures. It's not easy, but with a little practice and some luck, it can be done. It only works well with a clear or nearly clear sky. Moon and stars in the same shot would be a real problem though, because the moon is much brighter than stars, otherwise, you would be able to see the stars in the daytime.
We are coming into a crescent moon/ last quarter-new moon phase currently, so you have to plan around that too.
These are double exposures. To light your people, you would have to use flash.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_843138.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_843138.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_842833.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_842833.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_922305.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_922305.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
06/24/2011 11:29:57 PM · #9
Originally posted by dassilem:

thanks everyone....I was really thinking this would be impossible....
I found a really high hill....that I thought would put us closer...but still thought I'd not be able to get the exposure right.....

thanks for all your tips...I will be doing alot of practice shots and prep for photoshop!!


A really high hill won't do anything unless the model stays there and you get to where you can fill the frame with them at 300mm

The moon is so far away that moving up a hill would be like taking 20 steps towards California to be closer to it.
06/25/2011 02:11:20 AM · #10
Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

Originally posted by dassilem:

thanks everyone....I was really thinking this would be impossible....
I found a really high hill....that I thought would put us closer...but still thought I'd not be able to get the exposure right.....

thanks for all your tips...I will be doing alot of practice shots and prep for photoshop!!


A really high hill won't do anything unless the model stays there and you get to where you can fill the frame with them at 300mm

The moon is so far away that moving up a hill would be like taking 20 steps towards California to be closer to it.


That's very true. Yet, theoretically you ARE closer to it right? :P
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